Guide to Acrylic Modelling paints.


The Cream Enjin

I wanted to contribute something to the forum. Please forgive me. This is my first time doing something like this.

In this guide I hope to give you a few facts to help you decide which brand of acrylic paint is best for your needs for new comers to the hobby and maybe some returning after a break, to help you gain the best, most accurate (if that's what you are looking for) finish to your model.

I intend on adding to this thread progressively.

No waffling.

Let's get the facts!

I like facts!




Vallejo Model Air

These are the 4 main paint brands I have come to love, hate and persevere with.

I will do my best to Inform you (in as short a way as possible) of my own experiences with each brand through my 10 or so years building models.


Can be thinned with Tamiya X20A thinner. This is probably your best bet if you are new to the hobby! It can be thinned with windscreen wiper fluid, usually the radioactive green stuff or Isopropyl(rubbing) alcohol. It sprays just as nice but the gloss colours flatten out.
It will NOT thin down with water! Which is strange for an acrylic paint. Do not try this. You will end up with a colour cup clogged with gunk and tears.

Hailing from Japan, Tamiya acrylic is the most forgiving of all model paints. Mix it 50/50 with X20A (maybe a little bit more...think the milk rule..(maybe semi skimmed for models because you need it to stick!)
It dries hard and smooth if you have mixed it right.

The down side is that compared with other model paint, it doesn't come in many colours. (ok for us with a colour wheel aye? ;) and it mostly dries flat. which is a downside for model builders. It is preferable to decal over a gloss finish. Well it helps with your sanity if you do! (the wet decal can be manuvered more easily over a gloss finish).

This is my almost finished "Grim Reapers" Tomcat painted with Tamiya paints to give you an idea of what is possible.

I will keep updating this guide.. Next Xtracrylix!


From Hannants (big model shop/supplier here in the UK)

It can be thinned with water or probably better for adhesion and tip dry is using their own brand of thinner 50/50ish.

This stuff dries fast and hard. So fast in fact that I find it near enough impossible to spray in my flat/apartment in the summer months. The paint dries before it hits the model. It's great for brush painting on seams to use as a micro filler because of this.

It comes in loads of UK, German and US colours for air and armour. The colours to my eyes look very accurate.

It is supposed to dry semi gloss so you can decal straight over it...Hmm I'd say this happens about 50% of the time for me, on a good day. Definitely spray when the temp is mid to low and you can obtain a decent finish. Still suffers a lot from tip dry though.
Here is my Dornier Do-17z painted entirely with Xtracrylix

Thanks. next Gunze

Gunze Aqueous is a very strange paint! It can be thinned with all the Gunze thinners. Plus Cellulose/laquer thinner and also water! plus probably anything else!?????

This paint sprays like a dream! I haven't found better. It has little to no tip dry no matter what you thin it with.

It does take a while to dry though and seams to "melt" under your fingers if you grab hold of it for to long. Gloves are the best way to overcome this. cotton ones work best.

It comes in a good range of colours. some are accurate but some seam a bit off to me.

If you want the best results use Mr Leveling thinner. Followed by the normal thinner followed by celly then water. Water still works fine! :)

I love this paint. I just wish it would dry quicker and stand up to handling.

Here is an ESCI F-4J Phantom II in the painting stages. note the gloss finish :)

Thanks. Next: Vallejo Model Air
coming towards the end now...I hope some of you guys can make use of the guide. Thanks for following and thanks for all the support.

Vallejo Model Air

Can be thinned with water or their own thinner. They have reformulated their thinner and its better now apparently. The airbrush cleaner also works as a thinner. Mostly doesn't need to be thinned and works straight out of the bottle.

Has a good range of colours. The German colours look more accurate than the UK ones if I'm honest.

Sprays nicely unthinned. but seems to go lumpy after a while when you have opened it.

It is very fragile and doesn't stand up to handling.

Overall its a nice paint but can be a pain with its congealing antics. dries flat but just needs clear coating.

Here is Luftwaffe 1/72 tiny F-4F Phantom II painted witn Vallejo.



They all have their pluses and minuses.

I hope this guide can be of some use to people.



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If this guide remains unwanted I'll remove it. I feel a bit embarrassed, I have had zero responses. if the mods can remove this thread i would be most happy. I don't think this is the right area for modelling stuff.

Thanks. :)
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I do not think it is unwanted, I'm sure this information can be useful for members who do modeling. No need to remove it :)
Thanks man alot of good Nfo. Nice work on the models
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Awesome review. Thanks for the trouble. We don't have 90% of those paint this side. You model building skills are sick.